Researchers say teenagers are not using oral sex as means of preserving their virginity, the Washingtonpost.com reports.

A federal survey of more than 2,200 males and females aged 15 to 19, found that teens who described themselves as virgins were less likely to say they had tried oral sex than those who said they were not virgins.

More than half of the teens included in the survey, which was released Monday, said they'd had oral sex.

"There's a popular perception that teens are engaging in serial oral sex as a strategy to avoid vaginal intercourse," Rachel Jones of the Guttmacher Institute, a private, nonprofit research organization based in New York, who helped do the study, told the Washingtonpost.com. "Our research suggests that's a misperception."